The Carousel Canopy June 16 2008

The Carousel CanopyKevin Passmore bought an UpSki, sight unseen, from an online listing this spring. He had seen one used near Loveland Pass 4 years ago and wanted to add this unique equipment to his quiver of Kites and backcountry tools. He got a great deal when an almost brand new, shiney, red-yellow-blue canopy arrived which he calls his Carousel Canopy. Kevin and Phil returned to Independence Pass and the slopes of Twining Peak Sunday, June 15, 2008 to consider how the UpSki works in light winds. The forecast was for almost no wind, 5 to 13 mph, and a poor wind direction (West) for Twining Peak. Kevin and I thought that by skinning up part way we could get into the stronger gusts of the mid-day thermals. We got some rides and made it up to 13,500 by canopy. Kevin tried out Greg Dietl's "Big Green" oversized canopy and enjoyed the "extra" power of a bigger canopy in light winds. Kevin is a mechanical engineer who works with carbon fiber fabrication techniques and has an extensive history with Kite's and Kite Skiing. He is tossing ideas around with John and I about making the UpSki lighter and has reviewed the "mountaineering prototype build by John". He immediately replaced most of the parts making up the control center with carbon fiber parts and gained a noticeable weight saving. Along with recent innovations from "Cobbler John's" shop the new mountaineering canopy is beginning to take shape. Slideshow follows.